La Revue du praticien
The treatment of autoimmune diseases has long relied on corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs. Advances in the study of the mechanisms involved, and the development of new immunosuppressive agents used for transplantations have deeply modified the therapeutic approaches. These new treatments are evaluated on animal models, but their effectiveness can only be assessed by open, then controlled clinical trials. Cyclosporin A has been shown to be effective in several autoimmune diseases. Intravenous immunoglobulins, cytokines and anticytokines, immunotoxins, monoclonal anti-leucocyte antibodies (CD4, CD25, LFA-1) and soon peptide vaccination constitute new types of treatments which are now being evaluated.